Tiptree lights shine on thanks to EADT

CHRISTMAS lights will be shining in an Essex village thanks to local businesses and the East Anglian Daily Times. It had been feared Tiptree would be doomed to darkness this Yuletide because of health and safety restrictions.

By Sharon Asplin

CHRISTMAS lights will be shining in an Essex village thanks to local businesses and the East Anglian Daily Times.

It had been feared Tiptree would be doomed to darkness this Yuletide because of health and safety restrictions.

Last month , the EADT exclusively revealed the parish council had been forced to cancel the festive lights after it became aware of the latest rules and regulations concerning safe supply of power.


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But now, owing to the publicity, three firms in the village have come forward to save the day and the £1,050 cost of installing and displaying the lights has been met.

Tiptree and Witham solicitors Roger Hart and Co have drawn up, free of charge, a “way leave” legal agreement for the properties where lights will be hanging, electricians Jennings and Stollery will carry out the new installations at cost price and a financial firm has made a donation. The parish council has also given £500.

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Tony Webb, a Colchester borough and parish councillor, said: “We are proceeding now and hope to have them up by December 1, although that is not confirmed.

“We are more than pleased and must thank the media, especially the East Anglian Daily Times, for making people aware and thank the businesses for being prepared to support the concept of Christmas decorations.

“I am sure it will make all the difference because it does light the place up and bring a bit of festive cheer to the area.”

Tom Reed, conveyancing executive for Roger Hart and Co, said the firm was delighted to help out.

He added: “It's something we've always had and it improves the town and I think it's important to keep these things going if we can, particularly if it can be done in the light of the advancing armada of red tape.”

The County Surveyors' Society had commissioned a special report covering “installation, maintenance and operation” of Christmas decorations.

In previous years, Tiptree's lights had always been connected via holes in the walls of various shops but early in October councillors discovered they were now required to install an outdoor point of supply.

The Institution of Lighting Engineers, which wrote the report, said it was important that councils were aware of the potential risks involved with decorations, particularly as they were often displayed during some of the worst weather of the year.

Dave Coatham, technical services manager, said: “Local authorities need to identify potential risks and ensure decorations are put up in a safe and sound manner which minimises risks to everybody.”

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